It was the third-straight tie for the Lions, who are undefeated for nearly two months and 12 matches now (6-0-6), but it certainly left a bad taste in Orlando’s fans’ mouths as the team was in position to win the match until the 95th minute, when the Red Bulls found their equalizer.
Here’s how each player performed.
GK, Brian Rowe, 6.5 — The backup goalkeeper had a solid night, one in which he wasn’t very much in demand due to the good work of those in front of him. Rowe registered three saves during the entire match and the most difficult one was a free kick shot from Samuel Tetteh in the second half. He didn’t have a chance on Brian White’s late equalizer.
D, Kamal Miller, 6.5 — The Canadian focused more on the defensive side of the game, operating for the most part of the match almost like a third center-back, and did a good job in containing Florian Valot. He ended the match with four interceptions and five clearances.
D, Robin Jansson, 7 — The Swede was more active than any other Orlando player in the final 15 minutes of the match, when the Red Bulls insisted on crossing the ball and trying to send long passes towards the Lions’ penalty box. Jansson responded well to the challenge, registering seven clearances. He also sent a beautiful long pass that set up a scoring chance for Nani in the first half.
D, Antonio Carlos, 7.5 — The Brazilian defender was strong in the air as usual, clearing a handful of early crosses and long passes from Orlando’s penalty box. He remained rock solid for the entirety of the match, registering a team-high five interceptions and eight clearances.
D, Ruan, 6 — The fast fullback used his speed to provide the team an offensive option down the right flank and had a couple of successful runs, sending good crosses to his teammates. He had a good showing on defense too, registering three tackles.
MF, Joey DeZart, 6 — The rookie showed good energy in the midfield and had a busy defensive night with two tackles and two interceptions before he was subbed off. He wasn’t as clean in possession as he should be, though, and turned the ball over more often than what would be ideal.
MF, Junior Urso, 7 — The veteran played an important hybrid role as he shielded the back line but also pushed forward more often than his fellow midfielders, especially in transition. He did a little bit of everything for the Lions, registering four interceptions, two shots, and connecting a team-high 88% of his passes. Urso showed great connection with Dike up top, frequently finding the striker in good spots on the counter.
MF, Chris Mueller, 5.5 — The winger was as active as usual on the right side of the field, but couldn’t create a lot from there. He uncharacteristically missed an opportunity in front of the goal and missed a great goal-scoring opportunity in the second half, taking an extra touch and allowing the Red Bulls time to get back and block his shot.
MF, Andrés Perea, 5.5 — The Colombian was one of Orlando’s less remarkable players on the field, which is not necessarily a bad thing for someone in his position. Perea didn’t do anything impressive but also didn’t get himself and the team in trouble — aside from conceding a couple of dangerous free kicks — putting out a decent if unspectacular display.
MF, Nani, 7.5 (MotM)– The Portuguese was very active in the first half and had Orlando’s best scoring opportunities, but didn’t finish as well as he should. That certainly wasn’t the case when had a penalty kick to take and was perfect from the spot to give the Lions the lead. He was very active on defense too with three tackles and three interceptions.
F, Daryl Dike, 7 — The striker provided a reference for the Lions to work around on offense and did a good job in playing with his back to the opponent’s goal to combine with the wingers and fullbacks. He used his strength and dribbling ability really well to draw a penalty kick for the Lions and used his size to help clear the ball in his own end on set pieces.
D, Kyle Smith (77’), 5.5 — The fullback replaced Ruan in the final portion of the match and had a good cross sent to Nani on the far post as his most relevant action.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel (77’), 5 — The Argentinean center back entered the match with roughly 15 minutes to go and tried to help the Lions preserve their single-goal advantage until the final whistle. He had a couple of clearances to his name, but made the odd decision of stepping way from Brian White to defend a player that was outside the ball on the play that ended in the Red Bulls’ equalizer.
D, Alex De John (89’), N/A – The center back replaced DeZart just before injury time and only touched the ball once.
That was how I saw it. Vote for your Man of the Match in the poll, and comment below.
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